Letters in May

76

Voting

“Thank you for a really interesting article on Expats voting.  The situation with voting is actually, dare I say it more insidious than you suggested. I don’t wish to sound like a conspiracy theorist, however as we all know once you leave Blighty, a succession of governments wash their hands of UK citizens. It seems to me that a “low turnout” equals apathy. Apathy equals Councils and Government able to say there is no interest in overseas voting; we are therefore doing away with overseas voting.

“Theories aside, at the last general election we were registered to vote and despite repeated contact with the council concerned, including phone calls, no papers were ever received. We pursued the matter after the election and were told the papers had been returned to the Council as “gone away”. Which of course they would be as they were sent out by UK postage quite literally only a couple of days before the Election !

“As a consequence of this ineptitude we were struck from the electoral register, and have had to go through the whole process again for the forthcoming Referendum. We have contacted the council on several occasions to confirm that ballot papers will be sent on time and with the correct postage, but despite all our attempts…guess what ? No reply.

“If you or any of your colleagues have any suggestions to whom or what we could do beyond we have already attempted we would be most grateful.”

[We’ve had several reports like this. Clearly some Councils have a lot to learn. It’s probably too late for this idea, but I wonder if sending them a stamped addressed envelope would help. Have any readers come up with a good solution? – Ed]

Skiving over Melons

“Thank goodness for the Judith Stafford article Skiving over Melons and the realism she expresses. We have lived here for 18 years in a holiday home and now permanently for 10 years, and absolutely agree. So much tosh written not only in so called literary efforts, but the Sunday supplements also. We love life here with all its imperfections (rarely written about) and although not perfect, it is truly wonderful.”

Trumped

“Editor, while I share your horror that Donald Trump is likely to become the Republican representative for US president, your comment that this is because presumably the people voting for Trump cannot read, write, or afford a computer, is both offensive and a gross oversimplification of the deep dissatisfaction and distrust with the political status quo in the country on both the Democratic and Republican sides, hence the surprising strength of Bernie Sanders’ campaign particularly among younger voters. An article in today’s New York Times might offer a more in depth understanding.” 

[Our article included some deliberately flippant comments from Ed, and whilst voting for Trump certainly isn’t a flippant subject, it was intended to add a bit of humour to a frankly, frightening situation. Sorry you didn’t like it – Ed]

Burgers

“Yes, I share your ‘Sad, innit? Ed’ sentiments about Burger King opening in Montpellier. As an American with a vacation home in Languedoc, the last thing I want to see in the land of haute cuisine is what we can find on any corner at home. But if I am to give in to a fast food impulse, the very same burger you desire is my same pick of choice! Extra sad, innit?

“P.S. I read Languedoc Living everyday online; my wife and I appreciate all your articles and especially your editorial digs. Keep it up!”

Drugs

“Regarding your article on Purple Drank, is this once again another example of America’s FDA corruption and in the back pocket of the Drug Corps ?” 

Counting immigrants 

“Your article on the dictate for the bus drivers to count the immigrants – it’s absolutely disgusting behaviour, and not a million miles away from the Yellow Badge that Jewish people have been forced to wear through the ages.”

[Thanks, keep the letters coming in!  Ed]